£200,000 fine for breach of asbestos regulations

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A breach of asbestos regulations at a school.A local authority been fined £200,000 for a breach of asbestos regulations at a primary school.

An environmental health officer was carrying out a routine food inspection at Lansdowne Primary School, Kent, when what looked to be an asbestos rope hanging from the ceiling was noticed.

A prohibition notice was served on the now independent educational trust.

An HSE investigation found that the asbestos flue and rope had been disturbed when the school was under the control of the County Council 18 months previously.

The flue and gasket rope were attached to a steriliser unit which had been removed by the caretaker.

Neither the caretaker nor the head teacher had any asbestos management or awareness training. The council failed to effectively to prevent exposure and failed to provide suitable training to those liable to be exposed to asbestos.

At Canterbury Crown Court, Kent County Council pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 10 (1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £21,500.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Kevin Golding said “The Council had implemented a system, but they had failed to take the simple step of checking to ensure it was being rigorously adhered to, resulting in employees not receiving the appropriate training.

“Organisations should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”